Friday, November 12, 2010

The Silversmith

"Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel."
- Proverbs 25:4

Dross noun /dros/draws/
1. : The scum that forms on the surface of molten metal
2. : waste or foreign matter : IMPURITY
3. : something that is base, trivial, or inferior

With that said, I have a story I found that I would like to share with you.
There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi.  As they were studying chapter three they came across verse three which says, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. 

One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities. 

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot - then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. 

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"  He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's the easy part -- when I see my image reflected in it." 

Most of you may have already heard this story before as it's quite popular over the internet. I personally just found it for the first time the other day when I was looking up silversmith pictures to do this blog, but I loved it so I thought I would share it with you :) 
So lately my biggest prayer for my life is for myself to solely be a vessel for God. That's all I want. I want to be free of myself and my desires and to take the term vessel to a literal level, I long for God to speak to others through me and take all of the glory of His works for Himself. I want to be able to throw off any praise I may get for Him using me. But that's much easier said than done. 
You may have noticed the verse at the very beginning of this post, but if not here it is again, "Remove the dross from the silver, and a silversmith can produce a vessel." - Proverbs 25:4. 
What is dross? If your like me that's the first thing you ask haha. So I of course googled it, because as we all know that's the trusted source of just about every teen in America. The Webster's website then informed me that all three of it's possible definitions suited this verse beautifully. First there was, "The scum that forms on the surface of molten metal." Well that just sounds nasty, but it makes sense. God removes our scum, God removes our yuck that we have floating on the surface, the grime that no one else would touch. Yeah, our God cleans that stuff. It's like Dirty Jobs, God Edition. Bet you Mike Rowe wouldn't stand a chance at that one. 
2nd definition of dross, "waste or foreign matter : IMPURITY" I kind of love the fact that impurity is in all caps and I'd like to point out that so far these definitions are disgusting. Waste or foreign matter.. we're ALL thinkin it, yuck. But hey, God doesn't care, He cleans us and loves us when no one else will. He takes away the impurities so that we can be vessels for Him. I feel like these impurities go so much farther than your "big" sins. Big sins being drinking, smoking, sex, even cussing. Impurities go deep. Impurities can be the slightest grain of evil that no one else will ever see. They're your jealousy, your greed, your desire for fame, even your lack of trust in God. He can clean us of all of that and use us. That just excites me.
3rd definition, "something that is base, trivial, or inferior" I take base to mean the lowest point of something, trivial to be something of little importance, and inferior as something of little or less importance. This one is a lot harder to explain.. I feel like in this instance, dross isn't a wrong that's being described but rather, your image. We've all heard people talk smack about others, we've all seen "Christians" that don't act like it, I know that you can think of at least one person whom you've judged, or maybe you are the judged. Either way God doesn't care, He longs to clean us and make us vessels for His work. No one is any less valuable to Him and with that said no one is any more valuable to Him. Just look at Jacob, he was certainly flawed, he deceived his father into giving him his brothers blessing. But even after the lying and wrong doings God cleaned him and made him a father of nations. 

"He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross..." - Malachi 3:3

God will sit and watch over us as He refines us, although it may be painful He has His eye on us. He knows when to take us out of the fire. God will never put you through anything that you can't handle. 

Dear God,
Refine me, remove the dross from my life. I don't care what it takes, I want you to see yourself when you look at me. God take me and USE me, I long to be a vessel for you. Help me to start a revolution, I want to win the world for you Father. Make me a light in this dark world, consume me like a fire. Use me to start another Great Awakening, use me to change the world. 

"I wanna set the world on fire, until it's burning bright for you. It's everything that I desire, can I be the one you use?" - Britt Nicole